HPE unveils Project New Stack as top end of expanded HPE composable strategy

HPE formally announces its project to extend HPE Synergy to the full hybrid IT environment, which is still known by its internal code name, and which is still in the tech preview stage, but should reach beta in the fall. The company hopes it will be ready to sell by December.

Ric Lewis, SVP and GM Software Defined and Cloud Group at HPE

LAS VEGAS – At their HPE Discover event here, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has unveiled the latest step in their composable computing strategy, with a technology preview of Project New Stack. Designed as the top layer of that strategy, above HPE Synergy, it will simplify hybrid IT management with a hybrid IT platform that facilitates the seamlessly composition, operation, and optimization of workloads across on-premises, private, hosted, and public clouds.

In the past, HPE’s public composable computing strategy has essentially been HPE Synergy, since its introduction in late 2015. However, at Discover this week, HPE segmented the strategy into three distinct segments – with the other two being new to the company. At the lowest end is its SimpliVity hyper-converged appliance. And at the high end, above Synergy, is the newly unveiled Project Open Stack.

“Most hybrid clouds are just VM farms, and HPE SimpliVity is the perfect fit for super-simple environments to deliver VM farms,” said Ric Lewis, SVP and GM Software Defined and Cloud Group at HPE. “HPE Synergy builds on that simplicity, but with more dynamics. It covers not just VMs, but bare metal, and containers, and is scalable to enterprise grade, with hundreds of thousands of nodes.”

What comes beyond that? Lewis unveiled Project New Stack.

“Project New Stack is where we are going in the future,” he said. “It’s the first time we are talking about this, although we have been working on it for several years. It basically takes the same mental model of SimpliVity – where it just shows up – and applies it to a hybrid IT environment, without a giant services contract. It’s a grand bold vision, but we are a bit closer to it than you might think.” HPE has unveiled a tech preview of Project Open Stack, which was demonstrated at the Discover event.

Lewis then provided more detail on each of the three components of the strategy.

“SimpliVity closed in February and in record time we delivered the SimpliVity OmniStack on top of our HC 380 platform, merging them to deliver a super-strong product,” he said. “More than 6000 of these systems have shipped to date.”

Lewis stressed that a differentiator in the market is this system’s ability to allow customers to make full use of compression and dedupe, which takes place only once.

“It is built on having ‘always on’ compression and dedupe, so that our customers can run with dedupe and compression on,” he said. “Our competitors have these features, but most of the customers don’t really run them.”

Lewis said that HPE is guaranteeing this platform in terms of its simplicity.

“We will guarantee customers will save 90 per cent of capacity across storage and backup combined,” he said. “It’s also ‘hyper-simple,’ with three clicks to back up, restore, move or clone a VM from single console.”

Lewis said that the new news around SimpliVity at the event is the announcement of broader availability.

“It is now available worldwide with integration through the HPE factory, with a single SKU,” he said.

HPE Synergy, which Lewis said ups the game from SimpliVity to the full data center, and which was the original composable infrastructure, has been sold to 400 new logos in the last five months. Synergy is also being enhanced with new elements which increase performance, improve security and extend storage options.

“We are announcing new hardware and software to run more workloads, and a new set of ecosystem patrtners,” Lewis said.

Storage provisioning has been enhanced with the integration of new software-defined storage capabilities within the platform.

“We are also planning to but SimpliVity inside it, but we haven’t had the time,” Lewis said. “It’s on the roadmap.”

The improved performance comes from new Synergy 480 and 660 Gen10 compute modules, from new 25GB connectivity with 100 Gb uplinks that come from an OEM deal with Mellanox, and a 25 per cent increase in direct-attach storage capacity. The security enhancements come from the new Gen10 ProLiant servers.

Synergy also benefits from enhancements to the HPE OneView infrastructure management software that automates complex tasks. These include new VMware ESX and Docker templates and images, new scripting tools to configure Cisco ACI networks, and integration with Mesosphere and ServiceNow. An integration with Redfish that will allow the Redfish specification to be applied to OneView is on the drawing board

“All of this will provide faster provisioning,” Lewis said.

Lewis told HPE partners that they need to sell Synergy, because it is easy to position.

“You have a multi-million dollar opportunity to refresh old HP blades and Cisco UCS with this,” he said. “It is faster and simpler to deploy, and costs up to 41 per cent less per VM, which includes deep storage automation with 3PAR.”

Finally, Lewis formally unveiled Project New Stack – although he promised it will eventually be given a sexier name.

“Marketing will work on that, and we will be rebranding it at some point,” he said.

While Synergy pools blocks of infrastructure so they can be simply assigned and provisioned through code, Project New Stack allows this to be done broadly through the hybrid IT environment, across traditional IT, private cloud and public clouds.

“HPE Synergy brings composability to these pools, but you need this at a higher level and to be able to orchestrate it in a hybrid IT environment,” Lewis said. “This is a new approach to hybrid IT management, and an extension of our composable strategy.” It will ultimately be delivered as an appliance, like a hyper-converged device, Lewis added.

“Everything in New Stack is self service, providing a single view across public, private and traditional platforms,” Lewis said. “It’s simple hybrid IT.

“This will give you tools to advise customers in a hybrid IT world,” Lewis told partners.

Project New Stack was offered as a tech preview at Discover.

“We are having a set of beta customers on it in the fall, and it will be ready to sell by the next Discover in Madrid,” Lewis said.